NEWS

COVID Related Work Comp Claims Exceed 50,000

More than 50,000 Work Comp Claims Filed in 2020 According to the California Workers’ Compensation Claims Institute, CWCI,  the projected number of COVID-19  work comp claims claims through October 2020 is a staggering 57,833!  One in every 9 work-related injury claims filed is COVID related. Claims Trending Down for August-October Numbers show that the peak of COVID related claims were mid-year with July hitting a peak of 14, 453.  However, subsequent months showed a downward trajectory with reports for August, September, and October at 6710, 3779, and 2016 respectively. Although more claims could yet be reported, numbers are still below the early counts reported for June and July indicating that there has indeed been a protracted downward trend. The CWCI has projected COVID related claims filed through October 2020 to reach 57,833.  Distribution by industry indicates health care workers account for thelargest share of these claims followed by public safety/government workers. Keeping up with... READ MORE >

New Workers’ Compensation Laws of California, 2021

New Workers’ Compensation Laws for 2021 If you thought Covid-19 reporting requirements under SB1159 were difficult, just wait! Effective January 1st, reporting requirements will quadruple. Moreover, under AB5 several professions are newly added to the list of exemptions to its provision.  Now considered Independent Contractors, these workers are no longer eligible for workers’ compensation. It’s important to know what’s on the list so you don’t accidentally incur liability. IEA and Professor David Chetcuti will explore these issues as well as the 8 new workers compensation laws that come into play on January 1st, 2021 in a one-hour webinar presentation. Key topics include:

  • Review of new workers’ compensation laws effective January 1st
  • Explanation of three laws passed in 2019 that take effect in 2021
  • Changes in benefit rates
  • COLA review for life pension and 100% cases
  • Highlights of new regulations effective 1/1/21
  • Choose from the dates listed below:
  • December 16th,
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    SB1159 – To Report or Not to Report

    To Report or Not to Report California SB1159 places onerous and complex reporting responsibilities on employers. TPAs in turn now scramble to provide reporting portals to manage the process. When an employer knows, or should know of a positive COVID-19 test within its workforce, it must inform its TPA. Then it must report the number of employees at each “specific place of employment.” TPAs must determine when and where the outbreak occurred and include that information in any filed claims. Since SB1159 establishes a rebuttable presumption that illness or death resulting from COVID-19 is compensable for front-line workers and employees who contract the virus from a workplace outbreak, is it logical to think that reporting can be avoided? If an employer decides to accept every case, is reporting really necessary? It turns out that avoiding reporting requirements may be more onerous, and certainly more costly, than the reporting requirements themselves. The penalties for not reporting, or reporting misleading... READ MORE >

    WCAB Issues Two En Banc Decisions Reinstating Specified Rules

    WCAB Reinstates Some Rules Following Covid Suspension On October 27th, 2020, the WCAB has issued two en banc decisions reinstating specified rules that were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first decision, regulations that relate to its ability to dismiss an applicant or lien claim for failure to appear have been reinstated.These regulations were temporarily suspended on March 18, 2020 but are now back in effect. In the second decision, the WCAB reinstated rules requiring exhibits to be filed with them at least 20 days prior to trial unless otherwise ordered. These rules will be reinstated on Dec. 1, 2020 and apply to all trials on or after that date. Suspension of rules related to the time for WCJs and arbitrators to issue reports in response to petitions for reconsideration, removal or disqualification were previously suspended.  Other rules will remain in effect until further notice.

  • This decision is available at: https://www.dir.ca.gov/wcab/EnBancdecisions2020/COVID-19-October27-2020.pdf
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